Two young professional boxers that train at the 2nd Chance Boxing Gym in Aransas Pass will be in the spotlight at the “War on the Shore” seven-fight card at the Aransas Pass Civic Center Friday, March 30.
22-year-old Enrique “Pretty Boy Assassin” Rodriguez and 20-year-old Ramsey Luna will be fighting in the super featherweight division. Rodriguez will face Henry Hernandez with whom he used to spar with as an amateur. Luna will be fighting for the Texas Super Featherweight title against Julio Valadez.
Rodriguez and Luna fought at the Civic Center as amateurs in January 2010.
Rodriguez has called Aransas Pass home for several years after moving around the country as a youth. In October of 2005, he was stabbed nine times in the chest, back and side.
He spent a week in the hospital with a collapsed lung. It was during his stay at the hospital that Rodriguez decided it was time to change his lifestyle before he ended up another statistic.
After being released, Rodriguez started spending more time at church seeking answers to what he describes as his troubled youth. While he never did drugs or drank alcohol, he was “on the ropes” and his life could have swung either way.
His father and brother have had their own troubles along the way; in fact both are serving prison terms currently. But Rodriguez remembers them both as positive influences on his life.
“They are my motivation,” Rodriguez said. “They have always told me I could be something. I have seen what has happened to them and I know I don’t want to end up that way.”
It was at church where his current boxing coach, Jason Gilden, first spotted him.
“I would watch this kid every Wednesday night run around the basketball court and he just looked like a prize fighter to me,” Gilden, a former junior olympic boxer said. “After hearing his story and many others, something told me we needed to start a boxing club in this town to help kids stay off the streets.“
With help from the church and the city of Aransas Pass, the 2nd Chance Boxing Club was formed.
On the first day of training, Gilden knew that his premonitions about Rodriguez were correct. It was not long before people in the boxing world also took notice.
Over his four-year tenure as an amateur, Rodriguez had a record of 46 wins and 14 losses, capturing four regional titles and three state titles in Golden Gloves competition.
After having controversial losses two years in a row at the National Golden Gloves, Rodriguez decided it was time to pursue the same path as fellow hometown boxer, Ramsey Luna and enter the professional ranks.
Since turning professional on July 10, 2010, Rodriguez is 4-0 with three knockouts.
Luna, a resident of Corpus Christi has been training with Gilden at the 2nd Chance Gym since 2008. As an amateur from October 2007 until May of 2010 his record was only 12-12, but he did have a win at regionals in Golden Gloves.
Luna made his pro debut in May of 2010 on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights. His first professional fight was up as a candidate for fight of the year. He has quickly run his record to 8 wins, two by knockout, and no losses and is currently ranked in the top 20 featherweights in the United States.
Luna, who almost gave up boxing before he even had his first fight, also attributes the sport and the 2nd Chance Gym to turning his life around. “Boxing changed my life completely. I was a big time screw up,” Luna lamented.
Both boxers say the workouts are hard, but very satisfying and rewarding.
Now, almost two years since these local boxers, friends and avid supporters moved to the professional level, they both have impressive records and continue to move up the ranks.
On March 30, these two fighters will put their unblemished professional records on the line and get the chance to box professionally in front of a hometown crowd for the very first time. They both have fought in Victoria, Laredo, Houston and Austin as pros.
“This community rallied around our boxing gym and believed in us when we were just getting started. I am thrilled to be able to finally box at a professional level in front of my friends and this community, who have all been there since the very beginning,” said Rodriguez.
And in their corners, will be the man they attribute to the turnaround in their lives. The man they call “White Devil”.
For ticket information, you can go to www.scpboxing.com